Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 5 - Mandatory Customs

The Gemora states that nowadays we have two days of Yom Tov even though we have a fixed calendar and Rosh Chodesh is clearly established. This is because there was a message sent from Eretz Yisroel to Bavel to be careful to continue with the customs of their fathers for perhaps one day there might be a decree issued by the government forbidding the studying of Torah thereby causing people to forget the calculations needed for the establishment of the calendar.

The Ritva in Rosh Hashana (18) writes that this custom is different than the custom of taking the arovos on Hoshana Rabbah. One is obligated to recite all the blessings on the second day of Yom Tov. The custom is to enact the second day as if we would be living in the times that they did not know when Rosh Chodesh truly was.

Reb Yaakov Emden in Sheilas Yaavetz (168) warns people that heaven forbid should they think that the custom of having a second day of Yom Tov is similar to other customs that come from people wants and desires. Rather this is a custom that even if Eliyohu Hanovi would come and instruct us to abolish this custom, we would not listen to him until Moshiach would come and the Beis Hamikdosh would be rebuilt. It is evident from some of the halachos of the second days of Yom Tov how significant this custom is. Tefillin is not worn on the second day of Yom Tov. Brochos on matza, shofar and kiddush are recited and we are not concerned that these brochos are being recited in vain.

It is similarly written in Teshuvos Maharil (1) regarding the brocha of Yiru Eineinu during the week and Meyein Sheva on Friday night. These brochos were instituted because their Shuls were in the fields and nonetheless we recite them now and it is not regarded as an unnecessary brocha. The repitition of Shmone Esrei by the chazan is still recited even though everyone nowadays can read the shmone esrei from a siddur. This is because we are concerned that things will go back to the way they were before.

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